Tuesday 16 July 2019

Bank 'morally reprehensible' in its loan deals with children of Seán Quinn

On the hook: Colette (black jacket) and Ciara (beige scarf), daughters of Seán Quinn, at the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins
On the hook: Colette (black jacket) and Ciara (beige scarf), daughters of Seán Quinn, at the Four Courts yesterday. Picture: Collins

Tim Healy

Anglo Irish Bank behaved in a "morally reprehensible" manner towards Seán Quinn's children when they signed guarantees for loans of hundreds of millions of euro aimed at propping up its falling share price, the High Court has been told.

These five young people were ignorant of the bank's true financial position when signing guarantees in 2007 and 2008 and were never contacted by Anglo about the guarantees, Bernard Dunleavy SC said.

The five were aged between 20 and 32 in 2007 but Anglo "did not even know their ages", counsel added.

Its conduct was such the court should find the children have no liability under the securities, he claimed.

Brenda Quinn, the youngest, was 20 when she signed a guarantee for a loan to a Cypriot company in the Quinn group, he said. She was then pursuing a college course in business and human resources.

Aoife Quinn was aged 26 in 2007 and already had a degree in health fitness and leisure and was attending the Law Society. She was an apprentice solicitor in 2008 on a salary of about €18,000.

Seán Quinn Junior, who has a business studies degree, was 28 in 2007 and working in middle management at Quinn Insurance.

Ciara Quinn was 31 and working as a claims manager in Quinn Insurance. She had previously worked as a nurse before joining Quinn Insurance in 2005.

Colette Quinn, who has a commerce degree, was 32 and working as an assistant operations manager with Quinn Hotels.

Mr Dunleavy was continuing his opening of the siblings' action against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), Anglo's successor in title, and against receivers appointed over shares.

In their action, the five contend the guarantees and share pledges signed by them are invalid and have no legal effect.

Mr Dunleavy said the guarantees were required by Anglo for loans advanced by it to Quinn companies for the purpose of unwinding financial instruments called Contracts for Difference (CFD) held by their father in the bank.

He said it was "morally reprehensible" of Anglo to take guarantees from the siblings when it never contacted them about those or advised them to take independent legal advice.

Counsel agreed with Mr Justice Garrett Simons the guarantees stated that independent legal advice should be taken.

When the judge asked why the children did not take independent legal advice, counsel said that did not arise because their relationship with their father was such they signed "whatever they were asked to sign".

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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